async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Race Recap: CARA Honda Miles Per Hour Run

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Race Recap: CARA Honda Miles Per Hour Run

It has been many years since I attended the Chicago Auto Show. In the days before children, my husband and I went quite a few times with friends. We'd make a whole evening of it, going out to dinner after. It was always a lot of fun!

When the Chicago Area Runners' Association (CARA) announced they would be organizing a race through the Chicago Auto Show, I was intrigued! The race was going to be one hour and runners would be expected to complete as many miles as possible in that time frame. I had never done a race like that before and certainly, I had never run a race through an auto show.

I figured it would be different and it would be fun. Plus, I can do anything for an hour, right?



About 2 weeks before the race, I received my race packet in the mail, an option I paid extra for. I figured between parking, gas, and my time that it would be cheaper to have it sent to me than for me to drive into the city to pick it up. I received the race t-shirt and my bib. The shirt was really small and I was able to easily exchange it at packet pickup on the morning of the race.

I was surprised to see so many runners at the race--there were over 500 finishers! Parking was not discounted for the event, but it was plentiful and my husband I arrived with plenty of time to spare before the race started. My only complaint and this isn't a race complaint, it's a McCormick Place complaint, is that McCormick Place is so big and signage is terrible. I've been there many times for a variety of events and I still get lost. Even finding the parking garage entrance is difficult. I was glad we had the extra time to figure out where to go.

Once we found the Auto Show, we planned on a post-race meeting spot and I went to line up for the race. There were people holding pace signs--I lined up behind the 9 minute milers. We were lined up among some of the cars and there were employees polishing them. Right nearby where we were waiting was the Toyota display and Kyle Busch's Nascar car was parked there, along with his racing uniform. I snuck out of line to snap a photo.

Toyota Kyle Busch car
The president of CARA, Greg Hipp, made a speech, followed by the general manager of the Chicago Auto show, Dave Sloan. They talked about how this race came to be. That was followed by a recording of the Star Spangled Banner and then we were off. We started running down the main corridor between the exhibit halls, and up a bridge with views of the city. That took us down to another exhibit hall with concrete floors which were lined with cones. Runners were moving through these lanes, zig-zagging around the room. We would spend the majority of our time in this room.

And we're off! (thanks to my hubs for the photo--I'm next to the cone)
As I followed the crowd through these lanes, I remembered being in this room--this was where the expo for the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon was held! Two Hondas were parked in there as well, I assume because Honda was one of the race sponsors. There was an aid station right in the middle of the hall, along one of the lanes. On my first pass, I didn't stop for water. I was running about a 9:30 pace and I was feeling tired. Was it because of my tough 10 miler I ran in the cold wind the day before? Was it because it was warm inside and I wasn't used to running in warmer conditions? I wished I had brought my headphones so I could listen to music to distract me. Whatever the reason for my malaise, I made a decision to try to maintain this pace and not blow up. I was a little disappointed--I knew I could do better. I remembered my motto: Go with what the day gives you. That propelled me for the rest of my miles.

Free race photos for the win!
After what felt like forever, we exited out the door and back over the bridge. There was another aid station and this time I stopped for water. We ran down an aisle through the Honda display. Then we circled around past several other auto brands. There was a very enthusiastic cheer section on the back side of the Honda display--that always puts a little pep in my step! We ran back out of that hall and across the main corridor into the other exhibit hall where we circled around more auto displays. We ran by some luxury cars--very cool and some vintage cars as well. I was happy to see the Jeep display!


Then it was back out to the corridor, across the bridge, and into the cement exhibit hall for more looping around. As I made my way through the lanes, a few of the front runners approached from behind. They were flying! I was not. I stopped to walk at the aid station this time and took another water. I ran the rest of the way until we headed back across the bridge, where I took another walk break up the ramp. I ran down the other side. We took another run through the auto show and it was back across the bridge into the exhibit hall for what I knew would thankfully be my last lap.

The race had timing mats approximately every .4 mile. The finish time would be calculated by the last timing mat you crossed before the race ended at the one hour mark. As I made my way through the lanes, I realized that I was going to have to really push my pace if I wanted to end with a number over 6 miles. There was a timing mat at 5.78 and not again until 6.2 miles, right at the start of the bridge. Try as I might, I could not go any faster than I was running.

At one hour, the race was stopped. I was so close to the 6.2 timing mat but not close enough. Dammit. I walked out of the room and up and over the bridge to find my husband. My Garmin had me at 6.05 miles. During my walk back, I reviewed my performance and came to the conclusion that not only was I tired from the previous day's miles, but I just wasn't acclimated to the warm and dry conditions in McCormick Place.


I made my way back to the Honda display to collect my medal and goody bag. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the medal--it was plastic, although the design was cute. The goody bag had an Rx bar, a banana, and a bottle of water. I found my husband and we spent some time walking around the auto show. Having early access to the show was an amazing perk of this race. I am a bit of a car lover, having grown up with a father who restored and showed classic cars. I learned a lot about cars from him and have a great appreciation for cars.

My favorites? I'm definitely a muscle car kinda gal.

Mustang Cobra Prototype, 2020 Corvette, 2020 Mustang Mach E ( this one's all electric)
And I love my Jeeps.


My husband spotted this Rolls Royce SUV.


We got a kick out of these, too.


In spite of my struggles, the CARA Honda Miles Per Hour run was really fun fun! I've never run a timed race before and it definitely requires a different kind of mental mindset. Running through the car displays was really cool. It kind of reminded me of when I ran the WDW Half Marathon. Sure, we ran through the parks. But most of the race was spent running on the back roads, in the dark. If I run this race again, I'll definitely wear my headphones for the boring part in the cement exhibit hall. I would also pre-hydrate a little better. Overall, this was a well-organized, fun event. I would expect it to be very popular in upcoming years!


I ran a race through the Chicago Auto Show! /via @oldrunningmom @CARAruns @Honda @ChiAutoShow #runchat #running #chicagoautoshow #carahondamilesperhourrun

Have you ever run a race that measured miles run instead of time? What is the most unique race you've ever run? 

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics
and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahSmithaJenRachel, and Lisa.

 

50 comments :

  1. A fun idea for a race. Even my hubby would come to this one. He loves cars.

    10 miles the day before? Wow. You are hardcore.

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    1. It's just the way it worked out. Believe me, I would have preferred to have fresh legs for this. But it was fine.

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  2. I have never done back to back races, and 10 miles the day before is definitely a lot! I'll bet you were tired.

    Neither me nor my husband are really into cars, but I bet my husband would still be interested (but not in the logistics of getting there).

    Never run a timed race. I'm trying to think of a unique race I've run, but I don't think I really have!

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    1. So I didn't run a race the day before...it was a training run. But yes, I was tired!

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  3. I cannot get my head around running at all the day after a 10 miler let alone running a race so you earned your running props for this one. It sounds like a really fun race, at least it's fun to read about though I'm sure it was an hour of hell in the moment. I'm not sure how I would do with indoor conditions, it's not quite the same as being on the treadmill with a fan blasting on me.

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    1. I wanted it to be epic...what I should have done is lower my expectations for my pace! But it was fun and I'm so glad I did it.

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  4. I would sign up for a race like this! I especially like the fact that everyone is out running for the same amount of time, LOL! I'm not into cars - I can't tell the difference between them which always shocks my husband as he is really into cars. Well done on another race medal!!

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  5. Interesting Concept - Both The Race And The Cars - Thanx To The Hubby For Hanging Around And For Being Supportive - Enjoy The Rest Of The Week And Have A Wonderful Weekend

    Cheers

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  6. I would have totally done this race! My husband, who is very much into cars, would have loved it! I think having an early access to the show definitely is a motivator for many car-lovers to do this race.
    You did well, considering you must have given your body a shock running a closed, dry building after so many runs outside in the cold!

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    1. Seriously! It was a lot of fun, though, and my hubs, who was reluctant to attend, was glad he came with me.

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  7. OMG this sounds like such a fun race! I'm not a huge car person but I've gone to the Jacob Javits Auto Show a few times and it's always really fun, especially when I see cars that cost more than most homes, lol.

    I also love when races give you the option to have your race packets mailed.

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    1. CARA does a great job with race organization--they didn't let me down!

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  8. This is a really unique idea for a race! It sounds like a pretty cool thing to do. Though I assume that the concrete floors may have been hard on the legs.

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    1. I run on pavement, so I didn't really notice any difference. But I was tired!

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  9. I'm going to go ahead and be Captain Obvious here and say YES it was the 10 miles you ran the day before. :) In that case, this should just be a "fun run" and don't sweat the time! And sounds like it was! What a great idea for a race. I have a friend who just ran some race in Daytona Beach 2 weekends ago where they finished with a loop on the Daytona racetrack.

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    1. I've heard about that race--I'd love to do it. Although I've heard that the grade on the track makes it challenging!

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  10. This is a fun idea! Perfect for the cold Chicago winters. It's fun to mix it up. Nice job stepping out of your comfort zone. Thanks (in advance) for linking up Wednesday

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  11. Super fun! Boo on a plastic medal, though! What's up with that?

    I'm totally into the muscle cars. I used to have a Mustang, and the day I got to sit in "Eleanor" from Gone in 60 Seconds, was a highlight of my life. Right now, I want a big pickup truck (it's a NE Florida thing, for sure), but I would love to go back to Mustang, one day.

    Congratulations on a race well run and a cool experience!

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    1. Yay! I think I found my soul mate! You would have LOVED the trucks at the auto show!

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    2. My husband is horrified by me LOL. He really wants a Mercedes sedan, and I'm like nope. We are in the land of big ol' beefy trucks. We need to camp and haul things and Mercedes aren't built for that. We are truly opposites, through and through. Compromised on a Honda Pilot and I love it, but pickup is next.

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    3. Well, judging by the auto show, this is the year of the truck. You'll have a lot to choose from!

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  12. I think the biggest challenge (for me) would be the indoor aspect. Not a treadmill, but all the crowds of people and the indoor air, etc. It would not feel like a race, so it would be challenging to "race" in that kind of a non-traditional setting. Still a fun experience, though, for that very reason! There's a race (5K and 10K) I've had my eye on (in Kansas City, I think) that happens on the underground walkways near Groundhog's Day. I forget about it every year until after the fact, but I want to do that someday just for the quirky "race" aspect of it.

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  13. I love this idea for a race. If I lived closer, I would definitely give it a try. I have run several races measured by the miles you run rather than your time, but all of the ones I have done are trail runs. In one timed race, the loops are 1.5 miles long and if you don't finish the loop by the end of the time (I did 6 hours), it doesn't count. In another one, as long as you begin your final loop before the cut off time, the last loop counts, no matter how long it takes you to finish it. I like the last rules better!

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    1. I think the organizers must have based this race off the trail loop premise. I liked that it wasn't about loops, just timing mats.

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  14. I forgot to tell you...I love your motto!

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    1. Oh, thank you! A friend of mine, who is an Ironman finisher, told me that once when I was struggling with marathon training. It has served me well over the years!

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  15. What a novel race concept! It must have been fun to check out the cars while you ran. I used to work for WBBM and got to "handle" the celebrities at the auto show, who at that time included, among others, Oprah and Sweetness himself, Walter Payton. Both super nice. Fun times for sure!

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    1. Oh my gosh, Marcia, just when I think I knew all about you, you come up with another revelation! What a life you've lived.

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  16. I love this idea! My dad was a car guy too so I have the bug also. In fact, when my dad died, at his request we didn't have a funeral. But we held a car show!

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  17. I did a 6 hour timed race once and while I thought I would hate looping, I actually really, really enjoyed it. If it would fit into my schedule i would do it again. I think it would be super fun to do with a friend so you could talk away the miles.

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  18. That Cubs car is cool!
    Re: "next to the cone", I think you should collect some crowd shots and make a "Where's Wendy?" challenge. Glad you enjoyed the race.

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  19. This is such a fun idea for a race! I've never raced by time. Sorry you weren't feeling great but I'm sure the 10 miles from the day before wore you out!

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    1. I knew this was going to be tough after my miles the day before. But it was fun and that's all that really counts, right?

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  20. When I saw you post about this on IG I was like, what...? Haha! But your pics and this post make it sound really fun and a great idea!!

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    1. I had the same thought when I signed up for it! But after being a runner for so long, I enjoyed the novel experience!

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  21. Can you believe I've never been to the Auto Show? This is definitely a very different race but still fun. I have never done a timed race either but now would like to. Too bad about the medal (I've never seen a plastic one) but at least you liked the design. And yes that place it so huge and so easy to get lost. Great job!

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    1. I can't believe you've never been to the auto show, but if you're not into cars, I could understand it. This was a really fun way to see the auto show, that's for sure!

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  22. What a really interesting concept for a race! I've never raced by time. I would have definitely wanted to try this!

    Kind of a bummer that they went cheap on the medal. How did it feel running on the concrete floor - was it like being outdoors on the sidewalk?

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    1. Pretty much--the concrete didn't bother me. We also ran on carpet. It was interesting!

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  23. I am so intrigued with this race! It's such an original idea (at least I've never heard of a race like it). Plus adding in the car show is another cool aspect. Congrats on your time. It is too bad the mats are so far apart and you couldn't get an official 6 miles. And yes, I'm sure it was the 10 miles the day before that did you in.:-)

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    1. I signed up for the experience and I'm so glad I did it! Isn't that what running is all about?

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  24. This sounds like a really fun race! I've never run a race measured by miles instead of time. How did your legs feel after running on so much concrete?

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    1. It actually wasn't so bad--I only ran a total of 6 miles. I wonder if the speedsters felt it?

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